I don't know if cidering is a word or not, but that's what I had the good fortune of doing all day Saturday with some dear family friends. I have never cidered before (is that a word?) and I had a great time. We picked apples, Emperors, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and maybe a couple of other varieties. We loaded them into one of those large wooden bins that holds 1,000 pounds of apples. It was on the back of a 1950 Ford tractor which was straining to carry th load. The bin was probably 2/3 full. Next, off for a break for lunch and then off to press apples.
There was a job for everyone aged 4-89. From washing the apples to putting them in the crushing hopper, to turning the crushing crank and then turning the pressing crank. It was a very old cider press and it was hosed down the day bfore so the wood would absorb the water and not the cider we would be making th following day. Next, filling 5 gallon pots with the cider and putting it raw into gallon containers, or heating it up to pasturize it. Each family was able to take home some cider and apples. It was a great treat.
Sunday, I pasturized the raw cider by heating it to 200 degrees for 10 min. You don't want the cider to boil as that can negatively affect the taste. Next, I poured it into quart jars and processed for 30 min. in a boiling watr bath and tried to keep the water from coming to a rolling boil. Again, we don't want the cider to boil. I canned up 13 quarts and we still had over a 1/2 gallon to add cinnamon and lemon ginger tea to. It was wonderful!I dried one batch of apples, as well.
We also dug up our potatoes. Many potatoes had been a tasty snack for our resident gophers. If you have been following me, you know that we lost a lot of potato plants so our harvest was down. And, unfortunately, we had to put our eggbound pullet down, as we were unable to save her. A busy weekend. Thank you to my newest readers and wishing everyone a great week!